A young family has lost "absolutely everything" after a fire burned down the home they have been renting for two and a half years.
Flames and thick black smoke could be seen across Welcome Bay just before 9.30pm on Friday after firefighters were called to a house fire on Keam Way.
No one was injured in the fire but the home was destroyed and there has since been an outpouring of support on social media for the family.
Welcome Bay Lions club spokesperson Charles Harrison said the mother, father and two-and-a-half-year-old boy have been living here for two and a half years after moving here from South Africa.
Harrison said he visited the family on Saturday night to deliver a car seat for the boy.
"They have lost absolutely everything."
Harrison said he understood what the family was going through after losing his Tauranga home in a fire six years ago.
"We know exactly what it is like. We know that people want to help. They are determined to help.
"I think for the first 48 hours it is just actually coming to realise that you have lost everything except what you are standing in. It does take a bit to come to terms with things."
Fortunately, Harrison said the family was insured but they will not know what they will need until after speaking to their insurance company tomorrow.
"There have been a lot of people who have donated money, clothing, and furniture.
"This is totally amazing... but we ask that they slow down until the family knows exactly what they are dealing with.
"Once they have got their head around everything they will know what they need."
Harrison said the family was fortunate to be staying with a friend in the meantime.
He said when disasters like this happened it was humbling to see the community come together.
"There are pockets of people who will put their hand up and help any way they can. It just blows you away. The family sees and feels this support."
Harrison said the family were "totally shattered" when he spoke to them last. "But they are buoyed by what they can see as so much support."
He said the family will be in a better position to know what they need in a couple of days and anyone who still wished to support or donate could contact the Welcome Bay Lions club's Facebook page.
People could also view the account number set up for the family on the Welcome Bay Noticeboard Facebook page.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson said it was alerted to a house fire in Welcome Bay Tauranga at 9.19pm on Friday.
"On arrival, the first crews found the fire well-involved and all people out of the house.
"Crews attended the fire overnight."
Welcome Bay resident Shontelle Cockerill-Doerschel witnessed the blaze from Waitaha Rd.
She said it was "sort of like in a horror movie" and was thankful no one was injured.
"My husband and I had heard fireworks a little while before we started hearing weird booms… so he went to check it out on our deck and saw what looked like the hill was on fire," she said.
"By the time we saw it, it was very much fully engulfed already. We thought with the wind it may be close to catching on to the neighbour's place."